Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas: The Heat is On!

25 Jan

I first saw this gorgeous chicken recipe recipe in Bon Appetit magazine on an otherwise uneventful doctor’s visit. I considered walking out with the magazine or tearing out the page or even asking one of the attending staff if they would make me a photocopy, but settled on copying down the basics of what I needed to remember.

Browning the drumsticks in a cast iron skillet

Browning the drumsticks in a cast iron skillet

Then I promptly forgot where I had written it down.

But the recipe stayed on my mind — it was a haunting blend of everyday easy, basic ingredients I knew I had around or could get in any supermarket, and a sultry North African vibe. Plus chickpeas. I love chickpeas.

So I hunted the recipe down in a Google search and took the chicken out to thaw.

Golden brown and waiting for the spicy bed

Golden brown and waiting for the spicy bed

Please note that harissa, a red chile paste from North Africa, may not be available around you. You may be able to order it online, or substitute any smoky hot pepper paste you like. I’m considering a chipotle in adobo version at some point, dressed with cilantro instead of parsley.



I hope you try this one. It is worthy of company if you are entertaining, but why wait for that when you are so deserving yourself?

Everyone (including the 6-year-old) loved the chicken. He skipped the chickpeas, much to my sadness.

Everyone (including the 6-year-old) loved the chicken. He skipped the chickpeas, much to my sadness.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

1 Tbs olive oil

3 lbs. chicken skin-on, bone-in (the original recipe calls for chicken thighs and I think that’s what I’ll do next time. This time I had bone-in breasts and drumsticks and they were quite a hit)

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

½ Cup onion, chopped fine

1 Tbs garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 Tbs tomato paste

2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained ( I only had one can, but it really needs two! Or two Cups soaked beans)

Up to ¼ Cup harissa paste (I started with 1 Tbs and adjusted from there)

½ Cup low-sodium chicken broth

¼-1/2 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In two batches, cook until golden-brown on all sides (about 15 minutes per batch if using breasts and drumsticks). Transfer to a plate.

Pour off drippings, leaving about 1 Tbs in the pan (I didn’t have any excess fat to pour off, actually). Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until it begins to color, about 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, harissa paste and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Settle the reserved chicken pieces on the chickpeas, skin side up and transfer the skillet to the hot oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Top with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.


17 Responses to “Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas: The Heat is On!”

  1. kathryningrid January 28, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Hot stuff!

  2. Bluejellybeans January 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    ¡Buenísimo!!! 🙂 🙂

  3. Kristen Ferrari January 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    This looks incredible and I love chick peas!! I don’t have the paste though so I may substitute until I can get some!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 25, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

      Perhaps you could try making a bit of paste with hot red pepper flakes and garlic in the mortar and pestle?

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I must try this. I wish my doctors had good magazine. Usually golf, family and money stuff.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      I usually bring my own magazines (the only time I have a chance to read them!), but this doctor has far better taste in publications than most…

  5. hart0162 January 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    This sounds great! I’ll have to give it a try some time.

  6. cecilia January 25, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    I used to steal the magazines and then next time (5 kids.. there was always a next time) guilt ridden I would bring other magazines to replace them! Copying works too, in a kids colouring book with a crayon. I have a few good chickens left and am a huge fan of chick peas, this looks tasty!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      I did have organic chicken parts in, but with some real farm-raised birds, this would just be over the top!

  7. Mad Dog January 25, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Delicious – I think I’ll have to try that 🙂

  8. annashortcakes January 25, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Looks delicious! I love dishes like this…

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